By Whitney McGowan, FamilyLink.com, Inc.
On April 15, 1912 the Titanic sank deep into the freezing Atlantic after hitting
an iceberg approximately two hours and 40 minutes earlier (on April 14th). At the
time, the Titanic was the largest passenger steamship in the world.
Approximately 1,517 people died. The overall survival rate for men was 20 percent,
for women it was 74 percent, and for children, it was 52 percent. Fewer men survived
as there was a policy of allowing women and children to board the 20 lifeboats first.
These boats consisted of 14 lifeboats each designed to carry 65 passengers; 2 emergency
boats, each with a capacity of 40 passengers; and 4 collapsible boats, each with
a capacity of 47 passengers. Unfortunately, all of the boats were not filled to
capacity as some of the Titanic passengers were reluctant to leave what they thought
was a safer ship.
The Titanic began its voyage from Southhampton, England in hopes of reaching New
York City, New York. Edward J. Smith was the captain of the Titanic. After crossing
the English Channel the Titanic stopped at Cherbourg, France, and then Queenstown,
Ireland. Approximately 2,240 people were on board when the Titanic set out for New
Many prominent people at that time were traveling in first class. Some of these
people included: John Jacob Astor IV and his wife Madeleine Force Astor, industrialist
Benjamin Guggenheim, Macy’s owner Isidor Straus and his wife Ida, Denver millionairess
Margaret “Molly” Brown, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon and his wife couturière Lucy (Lady
Duff-Gordon), George Elkins Widener and his wife Eleanor; cricketer and businessman
John Borland Thayer with his wife Marian and their seventeen-year-old son Jack,
journalist William Thomas Stead, the Countess of Rothes, United States presidential
aide Archibald Butt, author and socialite Helen Churchill Candee, author Jacques
Futrelle his wife May and their friends, Broadway producers Henry and Rene Harris
and silent film actress Dorothy Gibson. (List of prominent names taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic)
To view a list of the Titanic passengers and crew, click here.
To view a list of only the first-class passengers and crew members on the Titanic, click here.
At WorldVitalRecords.com you can find many historic newspapers that cover the story
of the “unsinkable” ship, the Titanic. You may even find a record of one of your
ancestors who was on the Titanic.
Here are examples of just a few:
Waterloo Evening Courier:
Titanic, Largest Steamer Ever Built, Strikes Iceberg and Calls Help
Titusville Morning Herald:
Liner Titanic Struck an Iceburg on Sunday: Greatest Ship Afloat on her Maiden Voyage